MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A recent study by the Minnesota Department of Transportation said more than 300,000 Minnesotans live within evacuation limits of the route that oil-carrying trains take from North Dakota through Minnesota.
According to MnDOT, a half of a mile from these rail routes is considered an evacuation zone if a train were to derail.READ MORE: While Reported STDs Decreased Last Year, Pandemic Disruptions Give Cause Of Uncertainty
Five to seven trains carrying crude oil travel the roughly 700 miles from North Dakota to Minnesota daily, each with roughly 3.3 million gallons of oil.READ MORE: Target Announces Plan To Cut Emissions To Net-Zero In Next 2 Decades
MnDOT said in the study that an estimated 326,170 people live within a half mile of the route, and would need to be evacuated if a train derailed.
“This data provides a greater emphasis on the need for a strong rail safety program,” MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle said. “If trains derail and an emergency occurs, many lives could be in danger.”MORE NEWS: President Biden To Discuss Agriculture In Wisconsin Next Week
MnDOT said Gov. Mark Dayton has recommended improvements at 75 highway-rail grade crossings in hope of improving safety and to ensure that first responders are not stopped at blocked crossings.